A while back I made the Colette Patterns Moneta Dress. I think the dress is absolutely adorable and had wanted to make it for a while. The one I have for you today I don’t love on myself and it has already been given away to someone it fits much ...

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"Pigs In Pajamas" - 5 new articles

  1. Colette Patterns Moneta Dress Review
  2. A quilt top for mom
  3. Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt
  4. Free Wine Bag Tutorial
  5. Hanukkah wine bags and gift baskets
  6. More Recent Articles

Colette Patterns Moneta Dress Review

Colette Moneta side

A while back I made the Colette Patterns Moneta Dress. I think the dress is absolutely adorable and had wanted to make it for a while. The one I have for you today I don’t love on myself and it has already been given away to someone it fits much better. I might make it again (I really like the sleeveless version with the cute tie collar), but I would make several changes.

Colette Moneta front

First let me tell you about some of the neat features of this dress. One of my favorites is pockets. I love having pockets in my dresses.

Colette Moneta waist elastic before overlock

Another neat feature is the way they do the waist gathering. You sew elastic to it while the elastic is stretched and then when it bounces back — boom, gathers! The instructions explains his much better than I do. They actually have you use clear elastic but you can’t iron that (trust me, I tested, it melted) and I like to press my knits so that wasn’t going to work. I used regular elastic and in my opinion, it worked just as well.

Colette Moneta waist elastic

After attaching it, I overlocked over the whole thing which gave it a really nice finished look.

Colette Moneta waist outside

And the gathers look great on the front (and are pressable).

Colette Moneta back

Now here’s what I would change in my next iteration. The waist is way to low for me. If you check out the back picture above you can tell. At least in the back. I’ve started to notice this on a few dresses that I need to take a little bit out of the back to prevent back wrinkles like the ones you see in the first pictures. When I tried the bodice on it looked fine, but when the weight of the skirt was added, it dragged down the knit. So next time I would probably shorten the bodice by about an inch and maybe 2 in the back. This may also have to do with the fabric which has really nice drape, but may not be so good for this style.

Colette Moneta arm cuff

Another change I made was to add cuffs rather than finish the sleeves. I love how this turned out and it’s so much easier than doing the hems . . .

Colette Moneta neckline

Colette Moneta hem

My double needle and I are just not friends yet. I’m hoping my new Bernina will sew this kind of hem better without stretching it out. We shall see. I’ve had much better success doing a simple zig zag and will return to that if my new machine is equally stubborn.

So, this dress wasn’t my favorite. Not yet at least. This particular iteration was given to a friend who is about my size but taller so it fits her much better through the waist. The pattern was well written though and would be a great beginner knit pattern.

Here’s my review on Pattern Review.

      

A quilt top for mom

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue front

A while ago (and by a while I mean like 10 years ago), my mom made a quilt top. This quilt top languished in her fabric vault until about a year or two ago when I started doing longarm quilting. When I was home last time, I told her she just needed to get it done so I took it from my mom and told her I would quilt it up for her. She insisted she didn’t even really like it, but now that it’s done she does still like it 🙂

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue back

I pieced the back in order to save fabric. It was just a little over 44” so I cut the proper length, sliced it down the middle and pieced together some partial blocks leftover from the original quilt piecing. This saved a ton of the backing fabric which my mom can now use for something else.

Special thank you shout out to my dad for being an excellent quilt holder 😉

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

For the actual quilting, I did feathers in all the white areas and then just simple designs in the 9 patches. I’m very happy with how the feathers turned out. But it was my first time for doing this 9-patch pattern and while it got progressively better, I have to really slow myself down to get it precise. After washing it looked decent, but definitely need more practice here.

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue binding on the plane

Put my long flight home to good use by working on the binding. Bonus: if you bind on the plane, the quilt keeps you warm and you don’t have to use the icky plane blankets!

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

I did the binding using the leftover blue fabric and it complimented it nicely. She had just enough leftover blue fabric — almost like she actually intended to originally use the blue for the binding. Which she might have but it was so long ago we have no idea.

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

I guess this is my first commissioned piece 🙂

      

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Folded

As I previously mentioned, I’m a part of the Grace Circle for do. Good Stitches as a quilter. This past October was my first month as quilter and now I can share the quilt I finished last month.

Orange and black square in square in square

I asked the quilt circle members to do the square above called a flower box using this tutorial. For the black, anything that read as black ,and for the orange, anything that read as orange — solid or print in both cases.

Grace Circle October '16 Square

Here were the samples that I made. They also ended up being a part of the quilt as well.

Making my Grace Circle October '16 blocks

Some in progress shots of working not he sample blocks.

Making my Grace Circle October '16 blocks

These blocks were fun and I would totally do them again for a quilt of my own.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt top

I got everyone’s squares by mid November and played around a little deciding how I want to lay them out. I ended up offsetting every other row and I really like the chevrons it created between the rows. I had to make a couple more half squares for the layout to be even. I needed to get it done before December because I had already scheduled time on the longarm to get it quilted up before the end of December deadline (quilters are expected to have their quilt done by the end of the second month after their designated month).

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Front

It was so cool to see it come together. Quilt circle quilts like this are a great example of how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Close-up

I enjoyed doing some fun quilting on the longarm for it — swirls that I felt confident with in the diamonds for interest and waves that wouldn’t be too distracting elsewhere.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Back

Since I used orange thread, it made a cool contrast against the black backing that I used.

I’m already cooking up ideas for my next month — April!

      

Free Wine Bag Tutorial

Hanukkah wine bag

As promised here’s a walkthrough for the wine bag tutorial that I wrote. It classes up that bottle of wine you’re grabbing on the way out the door as a gift for your party host. The bag can be made with 2 fat quarters or just extra fabric that you have laying around. And once you’ve made it once or twice, you can whip one up in about 15-20 minutes.

Hanukkah fabric

I’ll be using some Basic Cotton printed with one of my designs at Spoonflower and some basic white muslin for the lining. I don’t recall what the fleece I used is, but I recommend Thermolam Plus.

Hanukkah wine bag

Starting by cutting out your fabric: outside, lining, fleece and handle. Since the fleece is optional I didn’t list it on the tutorial, but in my case, I cut it 1/2 inch less on all sides (so 6” x 14”).

Hanukkah wine bag

In the instructions, I say to sew the sides together before cutting the 1.5” squares from the corners. You can do it before or after. Cutting it after is faster; cutting before prevents having fleece in the seam. I’m showing the case where I cut the 1.5” squares before sewing in case you like that better since the pdf outlines how to do it the other way.

Hanukkah wine bag

You’ll want to cut the bottom corners from the outer fabric, lining and fleece.

Hanukkah wine bag

Fuse the fleece the center of the outer fabric.

Hanukkah wine bag

Sew together the outer bag pieces at the sides using a 1/2” seam allowance. Repeat for the lining. If you’re doing the cut-corners-first version, you can just sew right off the edge when you get to the corners — no need to back stitch. We’ll be locking those stitches down when we sew the corners together.

Don’t forget to leave a 3 inch gap in the lining. You can see in the photo above that I mark that gap with two pins on either side so that I don’t forget to do it.

If you decided to cut out your corners after sewing, now is the time to do it.

Hanukkah wine bag

To sew the corners together, bring the side bag seam to match the adjacent bottom bag seam. The rest of the bag should sort of poof out.

Pinch the two seams together and flatten out the fabric to the sides of the seams enough so that it can lay flat under your presser foot. You should have a straight edge perpendicular to the side seams. You’ll want to sew along that edge with a 1/2” seam allowance. Trim that seam allowance to 1/4” after sewing.

Repeat for the lining.

Hanukkah wine bag

Time to make the handle. Start by pressing the handle lengthwise.

Hanukkah wine bag

Open it up.

Hanukkah wine bag

Flip it over . . .

Hanukkah wine bag

And press the sides in.

Hanukkah wine bag

Now fold the sides together again.

Hanukkah wine bag

And stitch with a 1/8” seam allowance down the sides.

Let’s go back to the bag. Now we’re going to attach the handle. I find it easiest to do this with the outer bag turned inside out (right side facing in).

Hanukkah wine bag

Pin the handle to the outside of the bag at the side seams, matching the end of the handle to the top edge of the bag. The side seams provide a nice easy way to match up the centers — just match the center of the handle to the side seam. Your handle should make a little U shape in the middle of the bag. Make sure there are no twists!

I use two pins so that I can hold down each of the outer bag seam allowances when I tack the handles on.

Secure to the top with a 3/8” seam allowance so it will be hidden when we sew in the lining. You don’t need to backstitch here either.

Hanukkah wine bag

Now we’re going to put in the lining. Your lining should be right side out and your outer bag should be inside out. Slip your lining into your outer bag. Their right sides should be facing one another. You’ll need to gently move the handle to the side to slide the lining past.

Pin the lining and outer bag together, matching tops and side seams. Again, I use 2 pins on each side seam to hold down each of the seam allowances. It just prevents worrying about it when I’m sewing.

Stitch around the top with the standard 1/2” seam allowance.

Hanukkah wine bag

Turn the bag right side out by pulling it through the gap you left in the lining.

Hanukkah wine bag

Using your iron, gently press the seam at the top between the outer bag and lining. You’ll want to roll the lining to the inside of the bag. Since the lining is a hair shorter, it should fit in nicely. Top stitch around the top to make it look nice. Machine or hand stitch close the opening in the lining and you’re done! Ready to be gifted 🙂

      

Hanukkah wine bags and gift baskets

Haukkah gift bags

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah!

These are wine bags and gift baskets that I made last year with some fabric I designed on Spoonflower. I couldn’t find the kind of Hanukkah fabric that I wanted so I made my own! And now it’s available to you, too!

I wrote up a tutorial for the tall wine bag but needed to test it out. I’ve done so and here it is.

Meanwhile here are a few more pictures from my tester bags. All of the fabrics are printed on Spoonflower’s basic cotton.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses shape flex (Pellon SF101) as support for the fabric. The lining is plain white muslin.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses fusible fleece as the stabilizer. I wasn’t thrilled by how it wrinkled a bit after fusing, but I think that was due to poor quality fleece. My preferred fleece is Thermolam, but I used something else in the case. Not sure what it was, but I won’t be using it again.

Hanukkah wine bag

This is a slightly different style that I was trying out. No stabilizers, but it does have a round bottom. Lining is the coordinating striped fabric you can see.

Hannukah short basket

And finally one more test. This was more of a basket style. I used some coordinating quilting cotton for the lining and lined with the meh fleece mention above.

Tomorrow I’ll post a walk through for making the tall ones.

      

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